Gheymeh: Lamb and Split Pea Stew

Gheymeh: Lamb and Split Pea Stew

Erfan from Shiraz Persian Restaurant in Surfers Paradise teaches us how to make a classic Persian dish, Gheymeh.

Ghemeh Ingredients

All the ingredients for Gheymeh can be bought at the Shiraz Bazaar. See orders.shirazexpress.com.au

 ■ 2 Brown onions, finely diced

■ 3 tablespoons of Takdaneh Tomato Paste

■ 280 gr (1 full cup) of Persian Yellow Split Peas (these taste the best)

■ 2 teaspoons turmeric

■ 2 teaspoons salt

■ 4 dried limes

■ 2 tablespoon lemon juice

■ 1 tablespoon rose water

■ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

■ 1 pinch red pepper

■ 750 gr diced lamb shoulder

■ 1 pinch ground Persian saffron

METHOD

Soak yellow split peas in hot water.

Start frying the diced onion with a little oil on medium heat.

When turned slightly brown, add diced lamb shoulder. Turn up the heat to seal the meat. When meat is sealed, lower the heat and add 750 ml hot water.

Gheymeh

Start frying tomato paste with a little oil on a separate frying pan on low heat, for a few minutes. Put the fried tomato paste aside. Drain the yellow split peas and start frying a with a little bit of oil in the same frying pan. Add one teaspoon of turmeric and fry for few minutes.

Add the yellow split peas. And tomato paste to the other mixture and add salt and pepper and let it boil on low heat.

Puncture the outer skin of the lime with a skewer or fork. Add them and let the stew simmer for 30-40 minutes. When finished, turn off the heat, add rose water, saffron, lime juice and cinnamon powder and let sit for 5 minutes.

For the rice, please use the recipe from the Summer edition of Silver (silvermagazine.com.au).

And that’s it! You’ve got yourself one of the most popular dishes of Iran, Gheymeh! Nooshe Jan! (Which means, “May the food become a part of your soul.”) ■

See more recipes whipped up by Shiraz Persian restaurant by clicking here.

FESENJAN PERSIAN WALNUT POMEGRANATE STEW

FESENJAN PERSIAN WALNUT POMEGRANATE STEW

Erfan from Shiraz Persian Restaurant in Surfers Paradise teaches us how to make a classic Persian dish, Fesenjan.

Ingredients for Fesenjan

■ 3 Large brown onions

■ 500 grams of walnuts are needed.

■ 1 full jar of Kambiz pomegranate paste (available from Shiraz Bazaar online store: orders.shirazexpress.com.au)

■ 1.5 kg chicken thigh fillet, skin off (cut into 3 cm pieces)

■ 1 tablespoon salt

■ One tablespoon honey

■ 1/2 tablespoon sugar

History of Fesenjan

IF YOU HAVE BEEN TO IRAN, or if you have any friends who have ever been to Iran, probably one of the highlights of the trip would be the food. And one of the most amazing dishes they would remember is fesenjoon.

This beautiful dish is simple to make, but most people think it is hard to make! I have been married to my wife for three years and she has never made it! We make it in a different way at the restaurant with our own recipe, but at home, I make a simple version.

This dish can be made in a lot of different ways. But the ingredients should include ground walnuts, pomegranate paste, and meat (although there is some argument about this) plus simple seasonings like salt and sugar.

All the ingredients of Fesenjan
All the ingredients of Fesenjan

Different Representations of Fesenjan

This dish can be made in different ways because different parts of Iran have different tastes. In the north of Iran, there’s a very big mountain chain called Alborz, which works like a big, tall wall. Humidity and rainfall are stuck behind it, which is the north part of Iran. Those areas in the North are lush and green. The trees are acidic and the food is quite sour.

If you go to the North of Iran and have a  fesenjoon, it’s ultra-sour. They don’t add honey. They don’t add sugar. None. Zilch. Zero. In the North of Iran, poultry is very popular. But if you have fesenjoon, they will make it with chicken, rather than the duck meat of the other parts of the country.

In Iran’s southwest, people love meat. They just love meat to death. Mostly they would probably have it for breakfast if they could. They make their fesenjoon with meat, meatballs et cetera. In other parts of Iran, like Esfahan with its historic sites, you’ll find everything is ultra-sweet.

Accordingly, the fesenjoon there is super sweet. The capital Tehran is where I was born and raised for 23 years of my life. The flavors there are subtle and balanced. It is a balance between sweet and sour and salt. So my recipe is the Tehrani version – we call it the dancing of flavours. It’s amazing.

Procedure

We start off by peeling the onions. If you have a mincer at home, go ahead and mince three-quarters of the walnuts and the onions. A good food blender will also suffice. Just blend the hell out of the walnuts and the onions.

Then put it on the stove and let it boil with medium heat. Add 750ml of water, and let it boil for about 45 minutes, or until it becomes thicker. Use a spatula to basically stir it every now and then, because walnuts tend to stick to the bottom of the pot.

After 45 minutes, add one glass of very, very cold water (you can add ice if you want). We are shocking this stew. This releases a bit of oil from the walnuts. By the way, this dish, when it’s made, if you leave it for a while, you will see a layer of oil on top. Don’t panic. That’s natural walnut oil. Just stir it in.

After the cold water, wait five minutes. Then, add three-quarters of the pomegranate paste, and stir.

Add in the chicken, precut in three-centimetre cubes. Thigh meat is the best option.

Add salt, honey, and sugar. All three should be in exactly equal amounts. Occasionally stir. After an hour, add the remaining pomegranate paste.

Add the remainder of the walnuts and boil on low heat for another hour. You may have to keep stirring it to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. In Iran, the opinion is that the longer it cooks on low heat, the better it is. They say it has been settled.

Persian Rice

For the rice, Persian rice, please use the recipe from the Summer edition of Silver (silvermagazine. com.au) but you can skip the barberries.

The final dish
The Dish

And that’s it! You’ve got yourself one of the most popular dishes of Iran! Nooshe Jan! (Which means, “May the food become a part of your soul.” ■

All the ingredients for this dish can be bought at the Shiraz Bazaar.

See orders shirazexpress.com.au.

Want to know more recipes from Shiraz Bazaar? Click here.

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